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Meet 15-year-old Indian innovator who uses Science to solve global malnutrition problem

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By Nishtha

At the age of 15 years, Aarushee Nair has interests like any other teenager – she loves to swim, play basketball and lawn tennis. What sets Aarushee apart is her interest in science and how she is using her research work to help the needy and underprivileged.

Addressing pertinent issues

She has designed a Tetra Pak which can hold 350 ml of clean drinking water and has a separate slot to hold Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS). Through a small beak shaped outlet, the ORS can be administered to infants in the rural areas. She received patent for this design from the Government of India in 2013. Her achievements were even documented by the UNICEF.

She is also working on the second version of this Tetra Pak – to address the issue of malnutrition and clean drinking water.

“World Health Organization (WHO) has a pack of vitamins and minerals and when it is mixed with water, it can provide the necessary nutrients to the child. But it is essential that the water used in the packet is safe and clean. Thousands of infants under the age of five die due to dehydration and diarrhoea. Usage of these Tetra Pak by the government authorities can be extremely helpful ,” said Aarushee, a student of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, New Delhi.

Ensuring health during calamities

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She has also applied for the patent of another design: an eco-friendly and biodegradable toothpaste dispenser for people affected by natural disasters or living in refugee camps.

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“Wars and natural calamities lead to displacement of people in large numbers. The design I am working on will have four nozzles from where the toothpaste will be dispensed. After any natural disaster, there are chances of communicable diseases spreading in the relief camps. We can also take a cue from the dispenser and use it as a prototype to distribute water and other fluids,” explained Nair.

 

Awards and accolades

Her other achievements include a ‘Young Achievers’ Award by the Department of Science and Technology, Haryana government and a ‘Girls in ICT’ award instituted by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Geneva among other accolades.

In June 2015, Nair received the International Young Eco Hero Award by Action for Mature USA. She has been invited to San Francisco in October to accept the award.

Using the power of the visual media

To raise awareness about the deprivation of education among the underprivileged children, Aarushee, has produced a five minute documentary called, ‘Taaj Poshi’. She conceived this idea when she saw a 10 year boy working at a construction site along with his younger siblings.

“The intention of making this documentary is to make people aware about the atrocities these working children face on the field. They carry bricks on their heads and cement bags on their shoulders. I even got the protagonist of my film enrolled in a nearby government school but he was forced to quit as his family moved to a new place. Migration for work is also a deterrent for their education,” said Aarushee.

Added achievements

Apart from her interest in science and innovation, she recently got her name in the Limca Book of Records by solving the mirror cube blind folded in record time of 4 minutes and 40 seconds. She started experimenting with mirror cubes in January this year and became proficient within a span of few months.

Plans for the future

When asked about her future plans, she said her career path has been clear for years now. She wants to become a gynaecologist. She wants to work for mother and child care in rural India and also travel to different parts of the country to make people aware about population control.

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Astronomers discovered Sun-like star that devoured its own planets

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Astronomers discovered Sun-like star that devoured its own planets

New York, Oct 13: Astronomers have discovered that a Sun-like star lurking around 350 light-years away consumed the rocky equivalent of 15 Earths.

Dubbed Kronos after the child-eating Titan of Greek mythology, the star is the clearest and most dramatic case yet of a Sun-like star consuming its own planets, said Semyeong Oh, astrophysicist at Princeton University in New Jersey and lead author of the study.

“Even if our Sun ate the entire inner solar system, it wouldn’t come close to the anomaly we see in this star,” study co-author David Hogg from the Flatiron Institute in New York added.

The research did not begin as a hunt for a planet-eater.

Oh was analysing a catalog of new star data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft for pairs of stars with similar speeds and trajectories.

Such duos are typically twin stars that formed close together from the same ingredients.

The analysis ultimately led to the identification of Kronos and its lesser known brother Krios.

Their official designations are HD 240430 and HD 240429, and they are both about 350 light years from Earth.

The keys to the discovery were first confirming that the widely separated pair are in fact a binary pair, and secondly observing Kronos’ strikingly unusual chemical abundance pattern, Oh explained in a statement released by the Princeton University.

Other co-moving star pairs have had different chemistries, Oh explained, but none as dramatic as Kronos and Krios.

Most stars that are as metal-rich as Kronos “have all the other elements enhanced at a similar level,” she said, “whereas Kronos has volatile elements suppressed, which makes it really weird in the general context of stellar abundance patterns.”

In other words, Kronos had an unusually high level of rock-forming minerals, including magnesium, aluminium, silicon, iron, chromium and yttrium, without an equally high level of volatile compounds — those that are most often found in gas form, like oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and potassium, the study said. (IANS)

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Researchers Claim The Existence Of Planet Nine

Researchers from an American University have laid evidences to prove the presence of Planet Nine

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Kuiper Belt indicates the presence of Planet Nine
  • The science communities since a long time have been debating upon the existence of Planet Nine. 
  • Space highlights different shreds of evidence based on which scientists are stating the claim.

What Is Planet Nine?

Planet Nine is a hypothetical planet present in the far outer Solar System, whose mass is estimated to be 10 times more than the mass of Earth. The planet is said to be 20 times farther than the sun than Neptune is.

What Do Researchers Have To Say?

Dr Konstantin Batygin, a planetary astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology, said that there were five different lines of observational evidence which pointed to the existence of Planet Nine. He stated that if this theory does not sound believable, then people would have to come up with the answers of the five pieces of evidence which could lead to further confusion.

Also Read: Five Students from Telangana Selected for the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge

Batygin in 2016 published a study examining the six known objects in the Kuiper Belt, a  circumstellar disc in the Solar System beyond the planets that extends from the orbit of Neptune towards interstellar space.

The study examines all the objects have elliptical orbits pointing in the same direction and are tilted the same way. These serve as evidence to the planet’s existence.

It is being said that the objects are tilted 30 degrees downward compared to the plane where the eight official planets circle the sun. Researchers also made use of computer simulations of the solar system including the Planet Nine and to demonstrate that there should be more objects tilted a whopping 90 degrees to solar plane. It was revealed that five such objects, which fit these parameters were already known.

The study led to the birth of two more ideas. Researchers said that this planet could have tilted the planets of the solar system during the last 4.5 billion years.

Planet Nine’s existence could also tell the reason as to why Kuiper Belt objects orbit in the opposite direction as compared to other things in the solar system.

-Prepared by Megha Acharya of NewsGram.

(the story was originally published in PTI)

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Will Robots Take Your Job? 70 Per cent of Americans Say No

A report issued by the education company Pearson, Oxford University, and the Nesta Foundation found that just one in five workers are in occupations that will shrink by 2030

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A robot carries boxes at the Amazon Fulfillment center in Robbinsville Township, N.J (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (VOA)

Washington, October 8, 2017 : Most Americans believe their jobs are safe from the spread of robots and automation, at least during their lifetimes, and only a handful says automation has cost them a job or loss of income.

Still, a survey by the Pew Research Center also found widespread anxiety about the general impact of technological change. Three-quarters of Americans say it is at least “somewhat realistic” that robots and computers will eventually perform most of the jobs currently done by people. Roughly the same proportion worry that such an outcome will have negative consequences, such as worsening inequality.

“The public expects a number of different jobs and occupations to be replaced by technology in the coming decades, but few think their own job is heading in that direction,” Aaron Smith, associate director at the Pew Research Center, said.

The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. on July 6, 2005, is the author of a 2017 study looking at the spread of automation and robotics in the workplace.

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The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. on July 6, 2005, is the author of a 2017 study looking at the spread of automation and robotics in the workplace (VOA)

More than half of respondents expect that fast food workers, insurance claims processors and legal clerks will be mostly replaced by robots and computers during their lifetimes. Nearly two-thirds think that most retailers will be fully automated in 20 years, with little or no human interaction between customers and employers.

Americans’ relative optimism about their own jobs might be the more accurate assessment. Many recent expert analyses are finding less dramatic impacts from automation than studies from several years ago that suggested up to half of jobs could be automated.

Skills will need to be updated

A report issued by the education company Pearson, Oxford University, and the Nesta Foundation found that just one in five workers are in occupations that will shrink by 2030.

Many analysts increasingly focus on the impact of automation on specific tasks, rather than entire jobs. A report in January from the consulting firm McKinsey concluded that less than 5 percent of occupations were likely to be entirely automated. But it also found that in 60 percent of occupations, workers could see roughly one-third of their tasks automated.

That suggests workers will need to continually upgrade their skills as existing jobs evolve with new technologies.

Few have lost jobs to automation

Just 6 percent of the respondents to the Pew survey said that they themselves have either lost a job or seen their hours or incomes cut because of automation. Perhaps not surprisingly, they have a much more negative view of technology’s impact on work. Nearly half of those respondents say that technology has actually made it harder for them to advance in their careers.

ALSO READ Are Robots Going To Take My Job? The War Between Man and Machine

Contrary to the stereotype of older workers unable to keep up with new technology, younger workers — aged 18 through 24 — were the most likely to say that the coming of robots and automation had cost them a job or income. Eleven percent of workers in that group said automation had cut their pay or work hours. That’s double the proportion of workers aged 50 through 64 who said the same.

The Pew survey also found widespread skepticism about the benefits of many emerging technologies, with most Americans saying they would not ride in a driverless car. A majority are also not interested in using robots as caregiver for elderly relatives.

Self-driving cars

Thirty percent of respondents said they think self-driving cars would actually cause traffic accidents to increase, and 31 percent said they would stay roughly the same. Just 39 percent said they thought accidents would decline.

More than 80 percent support the idea of requiring self-driving cars to stay in specific lanes.

The survey was conducted in May and had 4,135 respondents, Pew said. (VOA)